Audacity is an excellent choice for recording from a microphone
or any other external source. Fortunately it is open-source software
written by a team of volunteers under the GNU General Public License.
The information on this page is intended as a partial guide to
using Audacity for recording in the language labs. For detailed
information on using the software, and to download your own copy,
In the Language Labs, open Audacity by clicking on - - - -
- - - - - START / VOICE RECORDING TOOLS / AUDACITY
Get familiar with the interface. The PAUSE button is
especially useful for long recordings where breaks are required
The six buttons from left to right are: REWIND/PLAY/RECORD/PAUSE/STOP/FAST
Use the sliders to adjust playback and recording levels. Select
the appropriate recording source device from the drop down menu
Start your recording by pressing the red RECORD button.
Check the VU Level Meters to make sure they are active by
speaking into the microphone. If they are not moving, go over
the pre-recording checklist. The left
meter represents the playback level coming through the headphones,
and the right meter represents the microphone volume level.
An ideal recording will approach the 0db (Zero Decibel) level,
without reaching or passing it..
The ideal amplitude of the recording shouldn't be too thick
or too thin. It should appear as a full-bodied waveform as shown
Audacity is a multitrack recorder by default. This
means that every time RECORD + STOP is pressed, a
new recording track will appear below a previous one. During
playback, ALL tracks are merged to one single track resulting
a mixed audio file. For example the following two tracks shown
here will be superimposed if the file is saved at this point
To avoid merging, close additional tracks before saving, by
selecting the X in the upper left corner of each additional
track OR - select FILE / NEW to open an entirely
new Audacity Window, and close off the old one. Only ONE
Track should be visible when saving a voice recording.
Voice recordings typically only require one single track,
so when saving an audio file in the labs select FILE/EXPORT
AS WAV(.wav). Since Audacity is a multitrack
recorder, it allows for saving of multitrack recording projects
projects into its own native format (.aup - audacity project).
This format cannot be read by any other program, so please avoid
it. USE EXPORT AS WAV ONLY in the labs!!
When recording an audio file students are required to record
their actual name at the beginning of each recording, and
save any and all audio files for evaluation purposes (using
Export as WAV), under the 'V - Voice Recordings' in the
appropriate course subfolder. The filename should be the student
Once your recording has been saved it CANNOT be overwritten!
If you with to save a different version of the same recording
it must be called something different. For example. Original
file = "filename.wav", Second version = "filename-finalversion.wav".